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Around here, Friday evenings, and sometimes Saturdays, are known as myskväll. It's a hard word to translate properly, since mys means, essentially, "to enjoy oneself"...but it often gets used in the sense of cozy and cuddly. As our family has interpreted it, it means staying home and gathering in the living room to watch a movie or special television program, with popcorn and candy (which is forbidden the rest of the week), and an 1.5-hour extension on bedtime.

At first, the candy bags were huge, and completely out of control. But after one of Martin's dentist visits where we discovered he actually had a cavity (aagh! bad mom! bad!), we lowered the boom to 10 pieces each, and they have to last for both Friday AND Saturday. We always get "loose" candy which you pay for by the weight. Each child has definite favorites, with Karin leaning toward the sour and gummi side, and Martin choosing fruit-flavored chewy candies, and lollipops. If I add some for myself, which I don't always do, it's usually vanilla fudge, chocolate-covered raisins and fruit-flavored chewies. Anders, being the full-blooded Swede that he is, subscribes wholeheartedly to the theory of salt licorice as candy, while I maintain as always that it isn't true candy, but well-disguised caramelized motor oil foisted off on unsuspecting Swedes for decades as edible. Poor, gullible fools.

Salt licorice comes 2 main ways, usually either smooth and gummy and black in different shapes, or hard and dusted with actual salt, also in various shapes. It takes quite a lot of getting used to and isn't for the faint-hearted. Many years of discussions with Swedes and non-Swedes living in Sweden, have brought me to the conclusion that salt licorice candy serves roughly the same function that cinnamon candy fills in the States: that is, it's candy with a BITE. Although, cinnamon candy is delicious and salt licorice...meh, not so much.

Granted, no one is forcing me to eat the stuff, so I don't care that it's out there, it's only the problem of contamination that makes me narrow my eyes with displeasure and wrinkle up my nose. You see, that paper bag we carefully dole out candy into at the store? All the candy is in it TOGETHER, which means that, since I'm a nice wife and always buy 10 pieces of salty licorice ickitybits for my husband, when we get home and pour it out into the candy dish to bring into the living room, ALL the candy is coated with SALT. I assure you, salty chocolate and fruity chews are NOT good. Bleah.

Note to self: In future, enforce segregation with separate bags.


Yesterday and today were the most perfect summer days in the history of summer days. Wind-still evenings, blue-skied sunshine, warm but not too warm. Forecast is for at least a week of the stuff. I am drunk on summer.


After some panicky internet-searching and frantic phone-calling, we seem to have secured relatively inexpensive accommodations* for each of our stops on the Scotland trip. 4 nights in Edinburgh, 4 nights in Inverness, 2 nights in Oban and 2 nights in Tobermory on the island of Mull of Kintyre oh mist rolling in from the sea, my desire is always to be here...erm, sorry, where was I? ...sandwiched front and back by 2 nights in Glasgow, which is where we fly into and out of. There are Highland Games taking place in Tobermory one of the days we're there, and I'm about to get online again and take a look at ticket prices for the open air performance of Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night's Dream which is taking place on the lawn below Edinburgh Castle during our stay. 1 week to go! O! I AM getting excited!


My children are completely obsessed with Joseph & the Amazing Colored Dreamcoat. I was given the video (with Donny Osmond) by an online friend visiting several months ago, and they have watched it every day for the last couple of weeks, sometimes more than once. I also have the soundtrack CD (with Donny Osmond) of the stage show, which has been playing in between VCR showings of the video. I bought it back in Chicago, when I WENT to a performance (with Donny Osmond). We had a moment, he and I, during the show, when he stared deep into my eyes (I was in the balcony) and sang directly TO ME. Of course my friend Bev, who was with me, claimed he was singing to HER, but she was deluded, the trollop, as it was obvious he only had eyes for me for that split second. He must have somehow known that my love for him, honed by repeated listening to his 1973 album A Time For Us when I was but a sprat, has never completely waned. Ahem. There. Now you know. I am not nearly as cool musically as you thought. I hope your illusions aren't thoroughly crushed.


Big, Bright and Belated Birthday Wishes to jema!

Really Great Writing Out There Right Now: Mosaic Minds: Truth or Consequences issue

*Geez louise, things are expensive in Scotland!!
mood: accomplished
music: Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat—Joseph Megamix


Oh, Scotland! And an open-air performance of Shakespeare --how fantastic! Have a great time!! (I visited Scotland briefly right after Princess Diana's death which colored everything unfortunately -- I think I need to go again :)

I love the Inverness area, so much to see! (not that the other choices were bad in any way!)

I like salt licorice just fine, but have also gotten used to the fact that most other people from other parts of the world don't dig it as much...but I've found a special breed of Americans who like it, my Geek husband in the front line, but also some close relatives of his!
The biggest challenge is Lakrisal which I brought over to try on the most tough of the tough...and it has actually gained its own little fan club over here!

We tried to do a big circle, basically and cover as much as possible during our stay. From Inverness we can go up into the Highlands, and to Loch Ness, among other things, so it's a good base of operations ;)

I really think that salty licorice should be outlawed! Especially the ones without the visible external salt. You see, they sneak up on you, imitating regular yummy sweet black licorice, just waiting for the moment that you bite into one. I swear that they roll on the floor with laughter at the expression on your face as you run to the nearest trash receptical to spit it out.

Joseph & the Amazing Colored Dreamcoat is an awesome dvd! I saw a high production of the play a number of years ago and fell in love with it. Then, to my great delight, my husband, who sometimes randomly sings songs that he likes, started singing on of the songs. He'd bought a vinyl album of the musical made in the UK in 1969, but had never seen the musical. He didn't even know what it was when he found it in a discount rack at a music store, but saw that it was a Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber production from before Jesus Christ Superstar and bought it. When I found all this out, I scoured the internet and found the Donny Osmond dvd and gave it to him for his last birthday. Now I want one of Godspell. I worked behind the scenes on a production of it when I was in college. Hmmm, Amazon, here I come...

Oh, I forgot, have a great vacation. It sounds lovely! My husband was there once, with his nephew. Now I just need to talk him into taking me!

I once auditioned for and got a role in a road company for "Hair", but chickened out because I was only 18 years old and didn't think I could take my clothes off in front of people back then (even with a nice THIN body). I can still sing "Frank Mills", just in a lower key than at 18.

We always have segregated godis bags here, Anders tending to the wine gums and salt lakrits and me, I like the gelehallon, peach and strawberry flavored flat chews and chocolate covered peanuts.

My good friend Gwendolyn still knows (and sings) every song from hair. She was a southern girl and when her mama ask her what she wanted for her sweet sixteen she answered "Claude."
Well, her mama delivered Claude to her sweet sixteen party. This is a story she likes to tell.

Eeuuww.Salty licorice sounds disgusting. My family is currently discussing a peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwich kick that one of them is on.
O Scotland. Woohoo! Have a wonderful time. I seem to remember you having this trip on your wish list a long time ago, true? Aren't wish lists great?

You've got me curios enough that I just went to my library online and reserved the Donny Osmund move. I must be nuts. I hope it's worth it. But hey, three vampire novels later...

I wasn't recommending it! HAHAHA! The musical was entertaining (assuming you like that sort of thing), but the movie version is very, er, camp.

The Dutch love salt liquorice as well, but I think it's disgusting. Yet another reason why I suspect I'm not really Dutch... ;-))

Scotland sounds great! I've only been to Edinburgh myself, but I absolutely loved it. There's a fudge shop somewhere along the Royal Mile, don't forget to visit it. ;-)

The only way I have ever been able to stand salt licorice was when some friends of mine made it into a liqueur. You drank it fast, and it burned, and it was actually almost good. I admit to being slightly drunk at the time, though. :)

Oooooh, Shakespeare and Scotland and oooh, it all sounds wonderful! You guys have a glorious time!

I love licorice, but I don't know about it with salt... B

It's a whole 'nother animal than that sweet stuff in the States. :)

I'm a drop (licorice) addict. As a kid I would fish out the black jelly beans and jugi fruits. When I came to Holland, I couldn't believe my good fortune - entire sections in the super market dedicate to licorice in all possible shapes sizes and degrees of salty-sweetness. Yum.

ya freak! :P

I love salty black licorice as long as it is the hard form. I can't STAND the soft ones (although I like the gum...go figure). But I am with you in that it has to go into a separate bag. I don't want my chocolate coated in salt.

salt licorice?

EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW I don't like black licorice at all so salt on it makes it 10x worse!


Saltlakrits mmmmm - that's my favourite candy next to chocolate. :) Sweet licorice is yuck!! You should try "Djungelvrål" and "turkisk peppar". *evil smile*

Not to mention sugar on popcorn... yuck again! Had that in England - what a shock to taste the sweet sugar instead of salt. brr...


(Sorry - forgot to sign my entry above.)


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